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The Treachery of Images
by Mary Soon Lee

Ceci n’est pas une pipe,
this is not a pipe, Magritte wrote
beneath my pipe-shaped curves,
beaming, pleased with himself,
his playful ploy, his wit,
coyly deploying me as decoy,
a dupe, a painted replica,
a pipe no one could smoke,
Magritte, joyful, heedless,
a thirty-year-old boy,
and me, newborn, helpless,
a patch of oil on canvas,
suspended, unsuspecting,
not knowing the sequel,
how people would stare,
giggle, chuckle, cackle,
snicker, snort, sneer
at me, at me, at me,
accepting or rejecting
Magritte’s statement
as if it were his to make,
as if truth were simple,
binary, yes/no, either/or,
as if I had no say
in who I am.

Featured Poet of the Month Mary Soon Lee
Mary Soon Lee was born and raised in London, but now lives in Pittsburgh. Her latest book is “The Sign of the Dragon,” an epic fantasy told in poems, winner of the 2021 Elgin Award. She hides her online presence with a cryptically named website ( and an equally cryptic Twitter account (@MarySoonLee).

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